Gout and Knee Pain: How Are They Linked?

Gout and Knee Pain: How Are They Linked?

When you think about knee pain, what might come to mind is a sports injury or perhaps a fall, but did you know that gout is also a common source of knee pain? 

Most often, people think of gout — a type of degenerative arthritis — as it relates to the big toe joint, because that’s where it frequently strikes. But gout can also cause pain and instability in your knee joint. 

And the symptoms are unpredictable, which makes living with the condition even more troublesome.

At Empire Physical Therapy and Athletic Rehabilitation, our physical therapists, Billy Reilly, PT, MS, and Paul LaRosa, PT, MS, are well-versed in treating patients who struggle with gout and all types of joint pain. They go the extra mile in researching your pain history and specific symptoms, as well as the severity of those symptoms, so you can experience lasting relief.

We offer services that incorporate evidence-based research, state-of-the-art technology-assisted treatments, and essential hands-on physical therapy. Our team’s caring attitude sets us apart from other practices.

What is gout?

As we explained, gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis and it’s caused by hyperuricemia, a condition that occurs when you have a surplus of uric acid in your body. You produce uric acid as part of the purine breakdown process. Purines are chemical compounds found in your body as well as in the food you consume. 

Excessive purines lead to high uric acid levels, which then contribute to gout, as the uric acid crystals derived from the uric acid accumulate in your joints and tissues. 

Though you can’t control the amount of purines your body makes, you can reduce your intake of them by adjusting your diet. 

Gout in the knee: telltale signs

Knee gout’s distinct symptoms include:

Because gout pain in your knee can be so severe, you may not be able to tolerate the slightest touch or put any weight on your knee. 

Gout attacks — known as “flares” — come suddenly and can even wake you in the middle of the night. These can last anywhere from a few days to over a week. 

Are there treatments for gout in the knee?

Yes, and we’re eager to share them with you. We offer diverse treatments that have given our patients long-term relief for their knee gout pain and movement issues. 

First, we talk about things you can do at home, like icing your knee or using heat on it. We also recommend and teach you how to do healing exercises that help restore function to your knee and minimize discomfort. 

We also offer in-office manual physical therapy, stretching regimens, and exercises that complement the ones you do at home to hasten your healing, but we make sure healing is smartly paced. We’re proud to offer state-of-the-art rehabilitative equipment right here in our office. 

We create a program based on the activities you do routinely. After you heal, we want you to enjoy the activities you did before and perform routine daily movements, free of pain.

An innovative treatment we offer for knee pain is electrophysiological stimulation, or “e-stim.”  This treatment involves sending an electrical current to your targeted treatment area, which:

In addition to treating your knee pain, we make recommendations about how to keep gout at bay, which include losing weight if necessary, avoiding foods and beverages that are high in purines, like red meat, shellfish, and beer, and changing certain medications. 

We also talk to you about the importance of managing chronic conditions like diabetes, because you’re at higher risk for gout if you live with a chronic condition.

Call our New York City office, located in Manhattan’s Midtown East section, to schedule an appointment or request one online.

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